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Friday, January 30, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-30-2015

A followup on yesterday’s Link of the Day, from the Pittsburgh Press, January 30, 1915:

Two major leagues only will be recognized by the powers of organized baseball so long as the civic laws of the land permit the operation of the national pastime under existing circumstances.
...
A number of promoters of fast minor league clubs evidently have fooled themselves into the idea that their circuit will be granted classification equal to the big two. It is a foolish hope.
...
According to stories from the west the American association has taken for granted that it is to be raised to major classification because the National and American leagues have expressed a willingness to lift the draft on it. Such an absurd conclusion scarcely can be imagined.

So I guess that’s a “no”.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 30, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, minor leagues

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-29-2015

Pittsburgh Press, January 29, 1915:

Three new major leagues, technically so, will greet the playing season of 1915. That was the outlook today with the announcement that the draft rule will be lifted from the American association. Letting down the bars for the association will necessitate doing likewise for the International league and the Pacific coast loop, and then Organized Baseball will have shot its latest and strongest 42-sentimeter [sic] projectile at the Federals.
...
[National League] President Tener, it is said, does not favor the plan, but Harrmann [sic] and Ban Johnson, the two other members of the National commission do, and it is reported from a reliable source that the action will take place next week at the commission meeting [in New York].

The idea was that teams in the AA, IL, and PCL would be allowed to sign and keep any player they wanted, and the AL and NL wouldn’t be able to draft players from those clubs. For whatever reason, the plan doesn’t appear to have been implemented.

It’s pretty fascinating to think about how differently baseball history would have turned out with five major leagues.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 29, 2015 at 09:46 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Sports Collectors Daily: 15 Baseball Cards of Players Who Met Tragic Endings

6. Len Koenecke, 1932 New York Giants schedule postcard: Len Koenecke didn’t make the majors until he was 28, didn’t even start playing minor league baseball until he was 24, and he died before he could make up for the lost time.

His death, which came just 265 games into his big league career, may rank as most bizarre in baseball history. Two days after being released by the Brooklyn Dodgers in September 1935, Koenecke got into an altercation with a pilot during a flight. The pilot hit Koenecke in the head with a fire extinguisher, killing him instantly. He was 31.

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 29, 2015 at 09:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general, history

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-28-2015

Toledo News-Bee, January 28, 1915:

Even more dangerous to the life and well being of the national pastime than the Federal, organized baseball and the warring magnates, is the European war. So declares Curtis Guild, former United States minister to Russia. He remarks if trade with the czar’s kingdom is not continued there will be no more baseball. Here’s why, according to Guild: “The only leather which will not stretch under sudden impact comes from the hides of Siberian ponies.”

If you think World War I will mess with baseball, stick around about three years. The Siberian Pony Leather Crisis of 1918 lasted nearly 75 years.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 28, 2015 at 08:07 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, siberian pony leather

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ranking baseball’s greatest dynasties - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

How to rank these nine dynasties? I’d go like this:

1. 1949-1953 Yankees—Hey, five titles is five titles.
2. 1996-2000 Yankees—Dominant postseason winning percentage, star power, hitting and pitching balance.
3. 1935-1939 Yankees—Statistically, better than the 1949-53 teams.
4. 1910-1914 A’s—If only Mack hadn’t broken them up.
5. 1971-1975 A’s—Only team with three straight titles in 1960s, ‘70s or ‘80s.
6. 1942-1946 Cardinals—History’s most underrated dynasty.
7. 2010-2014 Giants—Unbeatable in the postseason.
8. 1958-1962 Yankees—Lack of pitching depth downgrades them.
9. 1914-1918 Red Sox—Let’s make a time machine and go watch Ruth pitch.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2015 at 11:19 AM | 140 comment(s)
  Beats: dynasties, history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-27-2015

Grand Forks Daily Herald, January 27, 1915:

“Boston, Philadelphia, Washington and Detroit will make the fight for the 1915 pennant,” declared Bill Carrigan, the Red Sox manager today. “It’s hard telling which of the four will win, though I think Boston and Philadelphia will be the more formidable and less dependent upon breaks in the luck.
...
“Getting Larry Lajoie has put Connie Mack in the race. Bender and Plank were slipping and realy not necessary. I look for our stiffest competition from the Athletics.

Carrigan was mostly right. Boston won the World Series, Detroit won 100 games and finished second, Washington went 85-68, and…well…the Athletics finished 43-109, 58.5 games out of first.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 27, 2015 at 08:17 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, January 26, 2015

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS #15 — Walt Jocketty

I am surprised by this choice.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2015 at 12:32 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-26-2015

Pittsburgh Press, January 26, 1915:

Morris Farrell, son of the millionaire president of a lumber company [in Little Rock], has been signed by President Allen, of the local Southern association club. Farrell has played with Kansas City and Waco, but quit both clubs because he objected to discipline.

It would seem young Farrell’s time with Little Rock was cut short because he couldn’t play. Farrell hit .143 and slugged .196 in 15 games with the 1915 Travelers. John Henry Williams, eat your heart out.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 26, 2015 at 08:14 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, January 23, 2015

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS: #16 — Theo Epstein

The boy wonder.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2015 at 03:28 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history, theo epstein

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-23-2015

Braves manager George Stallings, quoted in the January 23, 1915 edition of the Pittsburgh Press:

“I don’t like $2 bills, and I never laid a hand on one during the world’s series.

“Throughout the season, of course, I have to come in contact with some of these, but I would fold them over and tear the corners off just as soon as I got hold of one to kill the jinx. If any of the readers of this story come across a $2 bill with the corners trimmed off they will know that the $2 bill circulated somewhere in the Boston club.

“All my players got to doing it last season, and our luck changed just as soon as we began to play this $2 bill jinx off the map.

I, for one, like $2 bills. Anyway, my initial reaction is that what Stallings did was probably illegal, but my interpretation of the US Code (18 U.S. Code § 333) is that defacing American currency is only illegal if it’s done with the intention to make it unfit to be reissued.

(I am not a lawyer and have no legal training. If you take my word for it, you likely have made a bad decision.)


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-22-2015

Washington Times, January 22, 1915:

The Indianapolis Federals, world’s champions by default, probably will do their spring training at home. There is plenty of money in sight to sent them on a training trip such as a world’s championship team would be supposed to take, but the Hoosier Fed promoters think better results can be obtained in the latitude of Indianapolis in March and April.

Team owner Harry Ford Sinclair really did have plenty of money - shady oil deals can be extremely lucrative - but he didn’t want to spend it on baseball in Indianapolis. By the time the 1915 Federal League season rolled around, the Hoo-Feds had relocated to Newark, New Jersey. It’s probably safe to assume they didn’t go back to Indiana for Spring Training.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 22, 2015 at 09:41 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS—#17 — Dan Duquette

A current GM makes the list.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2015 at 08:45 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-21-2015

Pittsburgh Press, January 21, 1915:

H.A. Jennings, a lawyer at the Lackawanna county bar in the winter time and manager of the Detroit American league baseball team in the spring and summer, has been elected a director of the Traders’ National bank, of Scranton. Hughey, as he is familiarly known throughout the baseball world, has been a stockholder in the Traders bank for several years.

Jennings appears to have done just about everything in Scranton, other than catching the Scranton Strangler.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 21, 2015 at 08:14 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, hughie jennings

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Counting Down the 25 Best GMs in History - #21 - Brian Cashman

As promised, here’s Cashman.  A very fair assessment of his tenure IMO.

Kurt Posted: January 20, 2015 at 10:13 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: history, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-20-2015

Pittsburgh Press, January 20, 1915:

The Cleveland Naps are to be called Indians hereafter. Unless all signs fail, the Indians are in for a scalping next summer.

Washington Herald, January 20, 1915:

Possibly the owners of the Cleveland club, by changing the name of the Sixth City club from “Naps” to “Indians” had in mind the Boston Braves.

This makes so much more sense than the strained explanation about honoring Louis Sockalexis.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 20, 2015 at 08:51 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, indians

Monday, January 19, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-19-2015

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, January 19, 1915:

“Will you please deny for me the stories printed in several New York papers that I was a candidate for the position of secretary or business manager of the Yankees,” writes Ed Barrow, president of the International League. “These stories were copied by the papers of our circuit and have caused some unpleasant and unfavorable comment on the part of several sporting writers.”

Barrow stayed with the International League until the end of the 1917 season, spent 1918-1919 as manager of the Red Sox, then indeed became a candidate for the position of business manager of the Yankees. Barrow ran the show in the Bronx from 1920-1946.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 19, 2015 at 08:30 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, ed barrow, history

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bloop Hits: Terry Forster’s musical feast

I saw someone here refer to Forster’s batting average champ status, so, why not.

Though he was never an All-Star, never won any awards, Terry Forster — who turned 63 this week — had a pretty interesting big-league career. In addition to leading the American League in saves with the ’74 White Sox, winning a championship ring with the ’81 Dodgers, and making 614 appearances (most of them in relief) over the course of 16 years in the majors, the left-hander was also the last A.L. pitcher to steal a base in a regular-season game before the introduction of interleague play, and his .397 career batting average (31 hits in 78 at-bats) remains the highest of any player with 50 or more at-bats and/or at least 15 years of major-league experience. Not a bad legacy, especially for a player who people, er, largely remember today for being dubbed a “fat tub of goo” by David Letterman…

Forster’s charming, genuinely funny Late Night guest segment, which included a rundown of his favorite stadiums to eat in, received a substantial amount of press coverage at the time — and, unfortunately, paved the way for Forster’s ill-advised foray into recording. Released in August 1985 on a label run by Philadelphia’s Comedy Works nightclub, and credited to Terry Forster and the Lovehandles, the four-song EP Fat Is In is mostly notable for its cover photo of Forster chowing down on a party-sized submarine sandwich while clad in his Atlanta Braves uniform… Though a video for “Fat Is In” was filmed and submitted to MTV, the song failed to become a hit. (According to a New York Times article from August 1985, the clip involves Forster being shipwrecked on “The Isle of Chocolate Cones,” where he finds “happiness, fast food and break-dancing.” Sadly, the video seems to have been lost to the ages.)

 

The District Attorney Posted: January 17, 2015 at 03:52 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, history, music, terry forster

Friday, January 16, 2015

Countdown of the Best 25 GMs - #21

Still just 47, Cashman likely has a long career ahead of him.

Let the gnashing of teeth begin…

Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 16, 2015 at 01:34 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: history, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-16-2015

Topeka State Journal, January 16, 1915:

The fame of Caruso is safe. Ivy Wingo, catcher of the St. Louis Cardinals, indorses [sic] him. In writing to a friend in St. Louis the near Cincinnati Red said:

“I have just bought a phonograph and bunch of records and a lot of them are by this Caruso. He is there. I would rather be Caruso than anybody in the world but Ty Cobb. At that, I’d like to be Cobb in summer time and Caruso in the winter. I have never seen the big [1915-era Italian racial slur redacted], but I have seen his pictures, and I’m not stuck on his shape, but he is there with the pipes, though.”

Ivey Wingo: Opera fan.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 16, 2015 at 11:52 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, ivey wingo

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-15-2015

Pittsburgh Press, January 15, 1915:

Cleveland sporting writers gathered with officials of the local American league club to decide on a new name for the Naps. The sale of “Nap” Lajoie to the Athletics necessitates the move. Suggested names are: “Colts,” “Black Sox,” “Bucks,” “Hustlers,” and “Grays.”

All of the above would have been fine by me. One wonders what the Black Sox scandal would have been called if that name had already been taken.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 15, 2015 at 09:26 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, indians

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Countdown of the best 25 GMs - #23

For the 32 seasons before John Hart was promoted to general manager in September 1991, the Cleveland Indians never finished closer than 11 games from first in a full season.  And they certainly didn’t appear to be making progress; in 1991 the team lost 105 games, finished last in the league in runs and ninth in runs allowed, and drew the fewest fans in the league for the third year in row.  Hart had his work cut out for him.

 

Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 14, 2015 at 10:58 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: history, indians

Document from ‘45 for sale, dismisses black baseball players - NY Daily News

The document, submitted by Yankee president Larry MacPhail to a committee appointed by New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1945 to study baseball’s color line, said black athletes simply didn’t have what it takes to play in the big leagues.

“There are few, if any, negro players who could qualify for play in the major leagues at this time. A major league player must have something besides natural ability,” MacPhail’s report said just two years before Robinson led the Dodgers to the National League pennant.

“In conclusion: I have no hesitancy in saying that the Yankees have no intention of signing negro players under contract or reservation to negro clubs,” MacPhail added.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 14, 2015 at 08:09 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-14-2015

Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss quoted in the Pittsburgh Press, January 14, 1915:

“If Rube [Waddell] were living, he could go on the [witness] stand and swear that he was once traded for a Pittsburg stogie. Yes, it’s true.

“Rube was with the Pirates at the time, and we were tired of him. Clarke gave him to Chicago, and he came to the office to see me about it. He said he was perfectly willing to go to the Windy City, but he wanted half of the purchase money.

“‘Here, take it all, Rube,’ said I, and I pushed toward him to a stogie. Stogies in those days sold four for a nickel. On his way out of the office, he was served with an attachment of the wages for a bill of $10 her owed a tailor for a pair of pants.”

Rube wore out his welcome in Pittsburgh in almost exactly one season. He spent 1900 with the Pirates and made two starts in 1901 before getting shipped to the Orphans.

Connie Mack was a bit more patient with Waddell in Philadelphia, probably because the Rube was the best player in the American League from 1902-1905

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 14, 2015 at 07:52 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rube waddell

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-13-2015

Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 13, 1915:

Jim Bluejacket, the Indian twirler of the Brooklyn Federals, is the only pitcher in baseball history who ever got credit for a victory without pitching a ball.

It happened late last summer when the Brookfeds were playing the Pittsburg Rebels. Bluejacket was ordered to the mound as a relief twirler in the ninth inning, when his own club was behind.
...
Steve Yorkes [sic], the Pittsburgh second baseman, was on first. Bluejacket saw him taking a long lead and men heaved the ball to first. Yorkes was caught, making it three out. During their session at bat the Brookfeds pounded out enough runs to win the game.

Since the beginning of bb-ref’s pitch-by-pitch data, two pitchers have won games without throwing a pitch: Colorado’s Alan Embree on July 7, 2009 and Baltimore’s B.J. Ryan on May 1, 2003

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 13, 2015 at 08:10 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The all-time all-underrated team - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

Some good names on this list.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2015 at 07:56 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: history

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